There are two types of ball bearings – the ball type and the tapered roller type. Angular-type ball bearing is used in front wheel bearing applications. The reason is because it can cope with higher thrust load. A tapered roller bearing can handle load in different directions whether axially or radially. Cartridge-type wheel bearing set is often used in rear axles. This wheel bearing set contains of a tapered roller set or ball set.


The construction of a basic seal has not changed. The only tangible difference is the primary sealing material. The sealing material has switched from felt to rubber products. Felt is now used for a different thing entirely. It serves as a dust shield. Before installing the shield, make sure it is well lubricated otherwise, it will run dry. It also prevents cocking of the seal during the installation process. If the seal is to be installed over a splined shaft, ensure you make use of a shaft protector. It is also important to include the dust cap in the sealing system.

Wheel bearing adjustment

If a wheel bearing is misaligned, the life of the bearing is at risk and it can lead to the damage of some other components. Components like the spindle, brake, and wheel seal are also affected. Always make sure the ends of the wheel bearing are properly adjusted according to the spec. If it is too loose or tight, it can bring about bearing failure. Since the advent of disk brakes, the adjustment of a bearing has been crucial to the performance of a braking system. Mounted directly to the steering knuckle is a caliper. In fact, this is the norm in many modern vehicles.

Hub bearings

This is very popular with front-wheel-drive vehicles. Its popularity started in the 1970s. It is a unique bearing that is sealed and pre-adjusted. It is also properly lubricated and it is contains a mounting flange for easy linking to other parts and components. Hub bearings used in passenger cars and light trucks cannot be adjusted. Furthermore, this bearing can either be a ball type or passenger type. The condition of the bearing has a direct effect and impact on the state of the hub. A noticeable sign of defect is an unpleasant noise from the wheel immediately the steering is turned. There are different parts of a braking system but a wheel bearing is literally the most critical component even in complex Electronic Stability Control (ESC) braking systems. It does the job of making sure the rotor and wheel are properly aligned to the caliper. It also ensures proper positioning of the wheel and drum to the backing plate. Furthermore, it regulates what is inputted to the wheel speed sensor.

The importance of quality

Do not replace wheel bearings with inferior or sub-standard parts. If the performance of the replacement is not impressive, it can lead to damage of the vehicle. Apart from that, inferior aftermarket bearings may cause endplay problems. Ultimately, it can make the car useless.


If you do not press the inner race of the new bearing onto a shaft, it may be damaged. To avoid failure, do not hammer a bearing as this can cause the dimpling of the balls and rollers. To drive a tapered bearing cup into its position, it is okay to use an aluminum driver. There is also a special tool that can be used to press a bearing into a steering knuckle. With an electric hot air gun, we can successfully install a bearing into an aluminum steering knuckle. This enables us to expand the housing without causing damage to the metal.  

Making use of the right tool and following the appropriate procedure when installing a bearing assembly helps to guarantee safety and longevity.

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